Kerala fisheries varsity to help in farming, marketing of exotic shrimp

Kochi, Aug 7 (IANS) To popularise the exotic litopenaeus vannamei white-leg shrimp variety that can be cultured successfully in a brackish water ecosystem like in Kerala, the state fisheries varsity has drawn up an action plan to launch its large-scale farming across the state.

“KUFOS proposes to start the venture by forming various farmers’ groups and to help them export the yield avoiding intermediaries,” said Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) Vice Chencellor B.Madhusoodana Kurup said on Friday.

Besides this, KUFOS will help the farmers to avail the license from the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA), Chennai for starting the vannamei shrimp culture.

“We will also help to get easy access in the global market by availing the certification of Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), a major global agency headquartered in Netherlands to issue eco-labelling certificate to seafood varieties.

“Efforts are on to get the cooperation of the ASC, which is ready to meet 60 percent of capital for the farming, if the eco-friendly methods prescribed by the agency are being followed in the venture,” added Kurup.

As the first step, a two-day training programme and aqua-exhibition will be held at KUFOS starting on August 20 in which eminent fishery scientists, experts and vannamei farming specialists from Andhra Pradesh will take classes.

Vannamei is an omnivorous scavenger and is less aggressive and less carnivorous than the Black Tiger shrimp. It is also easier to culture in very high stocking densities of up to 150/sqm due to their less aggressive nature. It is tolerant to wide range of salinities of 0.5 to 45 ppt, and it requires low protein feed (20-35 percent).

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